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YEKATERINBURG, September 27. /TASS/. Kyrgyz entrepreneurs are not planning to re-export foreign products and supply banned Western shrimps or papaya to Russia labelling them as products of Kyrgyzstan, the minister of the Eurasian Economic Commission, Danil Ibrayev, told TASS on Sunday.
Since Russia barred imports of food from most of the rest of Europe, the central Asian republic is working to expand domestic agricultural production to supply fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products to the Russian market.
Ibrayev, Kyrgyzstan’s former deputy economy minister, said on his arrival to Russia's Urals city of Yekaterinburg: "Kyrgyzstan joined the Eurasian Economic Union in August but it doesn’t mean that from now on, our entrepreneurs will supply under their label sanctioned shrimps or papaya to the Russian market."
"On the contrary, our business is interested in expanding production to fill a niche that appeared in the Russian market after the country introduced its food embargo," Ibrayev said, adding that the Kyrgyz authorities had created favourable conditions for business to boost domestic production.
"Kyrgyz products differ from their analogues in other countries by their good ecological properties," the minister said, noting that "demand for ecological and high-quality products is growing now".
In August 2014, Russia introduced a sweeping ban on many Western agricultural products, including meat, fish, dairy products, vegetables and fruit from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway in retaliation for Western sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine. Last month, the Kremlin extended the ban for a year following the EU’s decision to prolong its sanctions through January.
Russian officials said they would be alert to large-scale importers trying to smuggle in embargoed goods via third countries like Belarus and Kazakhstan, which form a customs union with Russia.
The Eurasian Economic Union, which envisages free movement of goods, services, capital and labour and is based on the three-nation customs union, started operating in January, replacing the Eurasian Economic Community, which officially ceased to exist last October.
The regional assembly Russia formed together with Kazakhstan and Belarus expanded to four nations on January 2 when Armenia formally joined, a day after the union came into operation.
Kyrgyzstan became the fifth member of the Eurasian Economic Union on August 12.